Among all that we are grateful for one of the most important being our health. Health innovations that are helping people care for our most vulnerable communities are something to celebrate.

Advancements in healthcare technologies have revolutionized the well-being of children, the mentally handicapped, neonatal patients and our elderly. So, here’s to your health, and cheers to four healthcare innovations that are reshaping human longevity and quality of life for future generations.

1. Light therapy

Using light to treat depression (or painfully pale skin) is a long-standing form of treatment. But for Dr. JoQueta Handy, light therapy has brightened the worlds of many living with Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder. The World Health Organization has officially identified ASD as a “global health priority.” In response to those concerns, specialists like Dr. Handy have dedicated their lives to unlocking learning barriers by developing revolutionary approaches to teaching children with these and other learning disabilities.

With methods such as Quantum Reflex Integration and Interactive Metronome usage, Dr. Handy has perfected a holistic education discipline called the “Children’s Opportunity for Brilliance” model. She uses this platform to inform fellow educators about the best ways to teach special needs children.

“It’s not the only solution for learning strategies,” Handy said, “But it’s a solution for bringing doctors, parents, and teachers together so that hopefully we can create the hub for the wheel of the child.”

Related: 4 Qualities of People With Autism That Could Benefit Your Business

2. Collaborative tracking tools

For Tammy Bowers, the development of Lionheart Innovations was a labor of love based on necessity. Tammy needed a resource that could condense the contents of her massive binder into one application that could track her son’s medical information. She believed technology was the solution to control the complexities of medical caregiving for her son, and that platform has been a literal lifesaver for thousands of people who need a way to better manage chronic health problems.

“The Lionheart app doesn’t simply track and store medical information, it empowers patients and their providers through data,” Bowers said. This application offers medication management, scheduling, and many other features that can better inform providers of necessary data.

Related: 5 Exciting Ways Health-Tech Startups Are Improving Lives

3. Wearable technology

For Owlet Baby Care CEO Kurt Workman, designing a hospital-caliber baby monitor for home use was a challenge that has paid off for thousands of new parents. The Smart Sock uses pulse oximetry, which is used in most hospitals. The sock is worn by infants and monitors the baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels. Should these levels drop, the device will trigger the base station that collects these vitals via Bluetooth. Parents can know immediately if there is a problem. “Owlet collects more data in one night than a doctor collects in one year,” Workman said.

This new technology has caught the attention of many organizations including Entrepreneur Magazine, which honored them as one of the top 100 Brilliant Companies of 2016, and Forbes Magazine, who included them on their Next Billion-Dollar Startup List 2016.

Related: Signing Her Grandmother’s Do Not Resuscitate Order Led This Entrepreneur to Found a Health Tech Startup

4. Cooperative technology among healthcare settings

With statistics showing 46 percent of health-care referrals never result in a scheduled appointment, and over half (55 percent) of specialist visits are deemed unnecessary, ReferralMD believes there is a better way to consolidate health information accessible by healthcare settings, particularly post-acute care organizations.

For example, ReferralMD believes that by including post-acute care in these new interoperability strategies, “healthcare organizations can ensure critical patient information across all care settings will be connected, providing a more detailed patient picture for more specific treatment plans and improved patient care.” As the scope of healthcare demographics shifts, ReferralMD is ready to change how healthcare companies communicate by creating a seamless, efficient, life-saving strategy that will benefit tomorrow’s patients and streamline the process for healthcare providers.

As we witness today’s advances in light therapy, collaborative healthcare applications, wearable tracking devices, and interoperability among healthcare organizations, we have much to be thankful for when it comes to our health. For those unique populations in need of special care, good health remains our best investment.


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